CBD and Stress: Why and How it Works
Jan 22, 2020
It comes in so many different guises. It’s linked to so many areas of our lives, both good and bad. Planning a wedding, getting ready for a graduation, or riding a roller coaster can be both exciting and stressful, but in a good way. These examples are known as “eustress” or positive stress that can be healthy and typically are not long term. Pressures from work, school, unhealthy personal relationships, and now even social media, can really dial up the stress.
Once our body perceives stress—whether inside the body or from external cues—it immediately responds and goes into fight–or–flight mode, releasing a hormone called cortisol. While stress is a part of life and cortisol is vital to keep us functioning, its chronic stress can take a toll on our long-term health when it reaches unnecessary levels.
How the body responds to stress
In all vertebrates, the response to stress involves a symphony of responses. In the human HPA axis (the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical glands that release hormones), stress causes the release of cortisol. This molecule controls blood sugar levels, regulates your metabolism, reduces inflammation and even helps with memory formation. That’s why low levels of stress can help sharpen you. But chronic stress strains the system, keep it in ‘alert’ mode for too long.
This also occurs because another of the responses to stress is the activation of the sympathetic nervous system. This causes the release of adrenaline and noradrenaline into the blood stream. Adrenaline increases the heart rate, expands the lungs, enlarges the pupil, redistributes the blood to your muscles and pumps glucose into your brain. In the short term, you’re more responsive and vigorous. In the long term, you’re burning the candle at both ends. This seems to be especially hard on the immune system.
How does CBD work for everyday stress?
As a society, we’re always looking for healthy ways to relieve our anxiety and stress. In our endocannabinoid system (ECS), we find a system closely linked to the mood of our mind. We know that the endocannabinoids made within us and the phytocannabinoids made by the hemp plant interact in many ways to establish balance.
Many people have experienced calming effects from CBD, which is why many have been turning to hemp CBD oil products to manage healthy stress levels. A recent study found that the effects of CBD may even calm the nerves before public speaking. It’d be a good idea to pick up some hemp CBD oil to prepare for the next big presentation!
While more research is needed, current research supports that CBD may play a role in a healthy response to:
- Everyday stress
- Temporary aches and discomfort
Dr. Aimée Shunney, naturopathic physician and medical advisor to PlusCBD, explains how it works: “Adequate levels of endocannabinoids, the cannabis-like compounds that we make ourselves, limit the amount of stress hormones released, which leads to a faster return to a relaxed state of being. We call this stress resilience, and people who have it report less anxiety, better sleep, and better response to the stress in their lives.”
What can I do to reduce stress?
Lifestyle behaviors like exercising, practicing yoga, meditating, a healthy diet with whole foods, and spending time in nature can all support the ECS and build stress resilience. It is never too late to start living your best life. It’s all about taking that first step towards a better, healthier, you. If you’re having trouble finding out where to begin here are a few more ideas to get you started:
- Create a list of attainable goals
- Start small, with long walks and work your way up to a run or hike.
- Dance! It’s great exercise (and it’s fun, too!)
- Breathing exercises
- Set aside at least 1 hour of time for yourself to do something you enjoy.
When your body needs extra assistance, CBD can help. Keeping the brain healthy can contribute to an overall better mood. Relaxation is one of the main functions of the ECS and taking hemp CBD oil supplements can help you achieve a calmer, more relaxed mood. All in all, the benefits of CBD cannot be ignored.
What CBD products can I use?
Even small amounts of full-spectrum hemp CBD products have shown to support a healthy stress response. The THC level in all PlusCBD™ Oil full-spectrum CBD products is well below the legal limit of 0.3% THC, so you can stay healthy, without the “high”. Our new PlusCBD™ Oil Unsweetened Drops in our Total Plant Complex formula has no added flavors or sweeteners, so you can get all the benefits of hemp CBD oil with a natural and earthy hemp taste. If you are interested in trying hemp CBD with more flavor, try our PlusCBD Oil™ Gummies, offered in Citrus Punch or Cherry Mango, or our PlusCBD™ Oil Sprays, offered in Unflavored, Peppermint and Café Mocha.